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College Publisher and ad content filtering

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Unless there is major news forthcoming, this will be the last I will post about the recent sale of College Media Network by Viacom/MTVu (see below for links to our previous coverage). However, the issue that was raised in the comments to my interview with Rusty Lewis is worthy of front page treatment.

As background, the College Publisher content management system is used by a number of private school student media outlets (we used it when I worked at North Greenville College/University). Some of these private universities have more stringent standards regarding what they consider acceptable advertising content on their sites.

This has been something that College Publisher has been sensitive to, filtering ads to specific student media outlets that might have a problem with particularly racy content, for example. In my time at NGU, I was tasked with asking CMN to remove a couple of ads from our student newspaper site, and they had no qualms in doing so.

So, reader Yada123 asked in the comments:

I’m concerned about the “guides” Access Network keeps referring to in its press releases and your podcast interview with CP5 staff.  Blackbook, one of Access Network’s guides, has some racy content about sleazy clubs such as Voyeur, and the stories and links blend content with boosterism, including for Voyeur.  Will these racy guides be forced upon college newspapers?  Will college newspapers’ existing advertising screens be maintained now that CP5 is with Access Network?

I asked Rusty Lewis of College Media Network to respond to the comment, which he did, and I’m reprinting his response in full here for wider dissemination.

Our contracts are not going to change.  The advertising policy that governs those agreements will be honored and continue with The Access Network’s representation of the national ad units across CMN.

The guides we have discussed are going to be a separate product that the newspapers will power.  We don’t have definite product details that will outline the functionalities of the tools yet, but [should the newspapers contract this service] the newspapers will have full control over what to feature in the city guides.

If there is an appetite to feature content from Black Book, it will be made available.  As a software solution, the City Guide Publisher will be a tool for the newspapers to feature listings of businesses and restaurants in the area with reviews.  The tool could be re-purposed for housing guides or any type of guides that are relevant to the college audience.  What you see in the blackbook guides speaks to their audience.  We don’t assume to know better than you on what your audience is looking for – that is why we are putting the tools in your hands.

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